Loading Spinner

Animal Figurines

There is nothing quite as endearing as an artfully rendered miniature of an animal. Whether crafted in delicate ceramic or animated with a vibrant palette, animal figurines feature prominently in ceramic history.

The practice of creating figurines dates back to the prehistoric world. As the humans of this era were nomadic in nature, any objects they crafted needed to be portable, hence the benefit of the small-scale figurine. Representations of animals in this format were consistent for generations, remaining strong into the 18th century as the refined painted porcelain figurine became popular. Alongside groupings of elegant couples, animal figurines featured prominently and soon became a highly desired collectible.

From the sculptural qualities of Nymphenberg porcelain pets to the colorful cheer of Meissen creatures and the sleek lines of Art Deco animals, these figurines still fascinate today.

Quick Facts

  • One of the oldest surviving animal figurines is a melding of animal and human forms. Known as the “Lion Man,” this carved ivory figurine dates to 38,000 B.C. and was found in the Swabian Alps
  • Queen Victoria’s lifelong love for animals is sometimes credited with contributing to the popularity of ceramic animal figurines in the 19th century. She is believed to have driven the incredible demand for Staffordshire King Charles Spaniel figurines
  • One of the most expensive sets of porcelain animal figurines to sell in recent years appeared at a Christie’s New York sale in 2015. Two porcelain pugs from the 18th century Chinese Qianlong Period sold for $47,500

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
Flemming Ross
Aug 21, 5:00 PM CEST
Flemming Ross
Est: $600- $1,200
$6000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Animal Figurines